Ep 112 – Eating for Longevity with Dr. Valter Longo

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I always say, if you cut yourself, within a couple weeks the repair is perfect and you go back to normal.  How is it possible that inside the body we don’t have any of this?  Right?  So, we just developed an outside repair mechanism but intra-, inside of the organism we do nothing about insulin resistance, liver–fatty liver, inflammation… There is no way.  So, the body has these repair mechanisms.  We just need learn how to trigger them, and trigger them in a way that can result in repair and regeneration, and we believe, also rejuvenation.” – Dr. Valter Longo

Dr. Valter Longo is a professor of Gerontology and Biological Sciences, and the Director of the Longevity Institute at the University of Southern California, and the Senior Group Leader of the IFOM Cancer Institute in Milan.  His studies focus on the fundamental mechanisms of aging in simple organisms and mice, and how they can be translated to humans.

After nearly 25 years of research alongside pioneering scientists, Dr. Longo has applied his extensive knowledge on aging, genetics, nutrition and disease to develop The Longevity Diet.  He believes that by following a low-protein pescatarian eating plan combined with periods of a fasting-mimicking diet, one can improve their cellular rejuvenation, increase their resistance to diabetes and other metabolic disorders, and extend their healthy lifespan.

I recently caught up with Dr. Longo to learn more about his Five Pillars of Longevity, and how his research has led him to believe that the key to increasing your “youth-span” lies in making long-term, sustainable changes to your nutrition.

In this episode we discuss:

  • How growing up in Italy influenced Dr. Longo’s interest in researching longevity
  • The increase of diabetes and cardiovascular disease among his own family members when they moved to the United States and shifted away from their traditional pescatarian diet
  • What it was like to work with experts such as Roy Walford and Caleb Finch early in his career, and how that shaped his later research
  • The lessons learned from caloric restriction in the Biosphere 2 project
  • How Dr. Longo looks at his research through the lens of youth-span and “juventology” vs. gerontology
  • The Five Pillars of Longevity
  • The ideal diet Dr. Longo believes we should be following based on these pillars
  • His recommendations on time restricted feeding and occasional inclusion of fasting-mimicking diets
  • Why he recommends a low protein diet for longevity, and how athletes should apply this principal
  • How our nutrient needs change as we age
  • Longo’s take on the ketogenic diet
  • How fasting-mimicking diets work from a biological perspective
  • The differing effects of fasting versus fasting-mimicking diets
  • Three things Dr. Longo does on a regular basis that have the biggest positive impact on his health
  • One thing he struggles to implement that could have a big impact on his health
  • What a healthy life looks like to Dr. Longo

You can follow Dr. Longo on Facebook, Instagram, and his website.

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Disclaimer: This podcast is meant to share the experiences of various individuals. It does not provide medical advice, and it is not a substitute for advice from your physician or health care professional.